Developing a Method Section
In this part of developing a research paper, you will participate in an experiment and then write a method section. You should write the method section as though you are the experimenter and you have already conducted this experiment. You will use your experience as a participant to obtain the information necessary to write the method section. Carefully observe what is occurring as you participate in the experiment; be sure to read all of the screens.
In order to produce the final research paper, we will analyze the data we collect as a class in order to attempt to answer our research question: Does self-referent encoding improve recognition memory?.
Please read all instructions before beginning the assignment.
Part One: Participate in the Experiment
1. Go to https://opl.apa.org/
2. Click on Get the Authorware Plugin. This will link you to another screen where you can download the program. Click on download, run the file, and follow the directions to install the Authorware Plugin. You will need to restart your browser and return to https://opl.apa.org/
3. You probably already have the Flash Plugin. If not, repeat the steps above to Get the Flash Plugin.
4. After you have the plugins, you are ready to begin. On the https://opl.apa.org/ page, click on the button that says �STUDENT BEGIN HERE��
5. Scroll Down on this page until you find the link that says �Self Reference.� Click on this link.
6. It will now ask you to provide your class link. Your class link is 3529. Be sure to enter in the class link. Click on the continue button.
7. It will now ask you for your participant information. Please enter the information it asks for. It is important that you are honest about your information. This will allow us to have accurate information to analyze in the next part of the assignment. When your information is saved into the database, you will be identified by a number rather than your name, therefore the information is confidential. If you are worried about the confidentiality of your results or participating in this study, please contact me before participating.
8. After entering your information, click on �Yes, I wish to participate.�
9. Read all the information on the following screens and follow the directions. Please try to do your best on the tasks, again because this will provide accurate information that we can analyze for the class.
10. At the conclusion of the experiment it will ask you if you want to save your results. It is very important that you click on Yes.
11. You will be provided with a code after saving your results. Please enter this code in the text box of your assignment when you submit.
12. You may not catch all the details of the experiment that you need in order to write your methods section after the first time you participate in the experiment. This is OK, you can go ahead and run the experiment again to pick up any information you find that you need. However, if you do the experiment more than once DO NOT save your results. You should only save your results the first time you complete the experiment.
Part Two: Writing a Method Section
1. Before you begin to write the method section, read 2.06: Method, Chapter 3: Writing Clearly and Concisely, and the example paper on pages 44-46 in your Publication Manual. In Chapter 3, pay particular attention to sections 3.08, 3.09, the sections on Reducing Bias in Language, and the section on Grammar and Usage.
You should also review method sections of articles you retrieved in the previous assignment to see what a method section should look like.
2. Using what you learn from these readings and your experience as a participant, write a method section for the experiment that you participated in. Remember, you should write this section as though you are a researcher, not as though you were a participant. It should be written in past tense, as though the experiment has been completed.
3. This section should be written in APA format (i.e. double spaced, appropriate headings). It therefore should be saved as a .doc, .docx, or .rtf file and submitted as an attachment.
4. Note: Your section should include participant information. We will not know some of the characteristics of the participants until after all the data have been collected. What I would like you to do is insert sentences that describe the participants while leaving a blank space for the exact information. Be as thorough as you can in describing the sample we are looking at, from participating in the experiment, you should know the demographic information that was collected on the sample.
Example: ___ females and ____ males participated in this study.
Participants in this study consisted of ____% female and ____% male.
We will end up using the results of students in this course for our analyses. I will provide you with all the demographic information in the instructions for the final research paper. The instructions for the final research proposal will tell you to go back and fill in this information for the final research proposal.
What to turn in:
-In the submission box of the assignment, type in the code you were given when you saved your experimental data.
-An attachment (.doc or .rtf file) containing your Method section. This section should be in APA format and include all relevant parts (e.g., participants, apparatus, procedure).
Best of luck! Please contact me or speak to me after class if you have further questions or need assistance. Also, keep in mind the writing center services are available if you need help developing your writing style. Lastly, I recommend you get started on this early to prevent any delays due to technical difficulties! If you have problems first see the commonly asked questions at https://opl.apa.org/FAQ.aspx . If your problem is not addressed, it may be helpful to email the Advisory Board as recommended on that page. As always, Past students who used Macs tended to have problems which they were able to resolve. This info may help those of you using a Mac:
“I have Mac OS X 10.4.11 and was having some problems with the file since it was in a compressed form, so I downloaded a new Stuffit Expander (the free version, not the “Get the Full Version Free”) at the URL:
Choose the ‘Expander 2009(.dmg) OS X 10.4 or higher’ as the file you wish to download and click on ‘DOWNLOAD NOW’ and follow the instructions.
It opened the Authorware plugin compressed file and everything went smoothly after that.”
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